To celebrate our talented and diverse membership, the TDC is profiling one member each month. We’re asking members the same five questions that will hopefully let us – and you – get to know them better. This month we selected designer, and 60th Annual Type Directors Club Communication Design Competition (TDC60) Best In Show winner, Niral Parekh!
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what you do and where you work
I’m Niral and I currently work as a designer in New York. I primarily like to work on typography and digital design projects, with the occasional branding or packaging work thrown in to keep it interesting.
I work out of a workspace in Queens. But work has been pretty nomadic last couple of years, so to be honest… wherever theres a desk.
What is your favorite typeface? And why?
The Din family. I like how clean, methodical and organized it looks. I also find it very adaptive… so it’s great that it can be used for print, digital, packaging etc.
Where do you take your typographic/design inspiration from?
One is being outside of the ‘realm’ of graphic/visual design. I spend quite a lot of time either reading scientific articles or learning languages or simply being outdoors etc. Experiencing and learning something new, does inform a lot of where my ideas come from. For example, the Vine project shown below, began after I started to learn about mobile video and read about the effect Vine has had on its users. I translated what I learnt into a typographic piece.
And the second is getting the opportunity to work with and learn from other designers. Having worked for established designers like Craig Ward, Juan Carlos Pagan etc. I was able to see and get insight into the entire design process – from ideation to execution to final deliverable. And how attention needs to be given to each part of the process to end up with a good piece of work. I also saw the work of designers like Vivi Feng and Tien-Min Liao (fellow designers from school), and saw how learning and adapting specialized skills to different kinds of projects can help. I still consider myself a relative newbie in design, so it was very inspiring to see both ends of the design process spectrum.
What is your all time favorite piece of design?
I’ll be nostalgic about this one. My favorite pieces of design are the opening intros/logos of cartoons from the 90s and 80s (Thundercats, Darkwing Duck, M.A.S.K., Visionaries… I could go on and on). It’s because watching them was my first introduction to all things creative and design… to things like storytelling, custom typography/lettering, color swatches and everything in between. Also, they are (still) great to watch!
Where do you see the future in typographic design and typeface design?
I think the next boundary being pushed is in what I like call contextual or sentient typography/design. By that I mean typography/design, created using programming languages and computing, that have transformative elements based on user input or interactivity (both onscreen and physical). With all the smart devices and platforms that are out there now, typography no longer needs to be static.
What is your favorite aspect of being a TDC member? / What drew you to become a member of the TDC?
All the events! So many talks and salons! I try to go whenever possible cause it’s a great way to learn and meet new people as well.